Shahriyar Hajizadeh about details of arrest in Iran

"We are in no way to blame, but the Iranian authorities accused us of an illegal acts and arrested, » said in an interview with Turan, the writer Shahriyar Hajizadeh released on September 4.

He and Farid Hussein went to Iran on April 29 to participate in a festival of poetry, where they were invited officially. The festival continued for three days in cities Binap, Maraga and Tabriz. “As part of the festival, we visited historic sites in these cities,” said Hajizadeh.

According to him, the indictment stated that the Azerbaijani writers visited the facilities of strategic importance, and photographed them, intended to convey information to any terrorist organization.

"We visited only historical sites and all these accusations are the lie that we constantly denied during questioning,"- said Hajizadeh.

He also told about the details of their arrest. "We bought the tickets and on May 2 at 22:30 we were to go by bus to Baku. Before going, we went to the store to get water. When leaving the store, there were people in plain clothes, who arrested us," said the writer.

Detention conditions were normal, no physical pressure was made. "We were accused of our desire to illegally build cultural ties. It turns out, that it was necessary to obtain written permission.

However, in the judgment of the court did not talk about it. The prosecution argued that we are members of some agencies, and arrived in Iran for drug trafficking. It was also claimed that we arrived in Tabriz, to separate it from Iran, as if we are members of the World Congress of Azerbaijanis and their agents.

The indictment also read that we sent to Iran by a University. As if we were in the houses of some people, wrote slogans there, and planned to hold rallies. We were accused of trying to disrupt the stability and peace in Iran,   which provides for the punishment up to one year of imprisonment. As a result, the court has deprived us of freedom for 365 days," said Hajizadeh.

According to him, being released they were told that the supreme spiritual leader of the country pardoned them. 

Both writers thanked the president, the foreign minister, the Writers' Union, the head of Caucasian Muslims Department, and employees of Tabriz Consulate for participation in their release.

"They were to pass us to the Azerbaijani consulate in Tabriz within 24 hours, but were we passed after 86 days," said Shahriyar Hajizadeh. -03B04-  


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